Dr Noel Kavanagh

Love; Continental thought; Animal studies; Logo Therapy; Popular Culture; P4C


The central focus of my research has been on the question of love in philosophy, particularly in the continental tradition. This has led me to explore the relationship between philosophy, psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, literature and popular culture and the human-animal relationship in the manifestation of the ideas of love. My research also includes examinations of instances of political theory manifesting in historical events, particularly in relation to Labour history.

The current focus of my research is on the relationship between Philosophy and Psychotherapy, Philosophy of the Animal, how philosophical ideas manifest themselves in popular culture, and reading labour history in terms of political theory.


I am a Committee member of Philosophy Ireland and also a member of the Irish Philosophical Society.

I am the editor of 2017 Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society Special Edition ‘Humans and Other Animals’. Published Spring 2020.

I am a P4C practitioner and advocate and organiser of P4C training sessions.


Edited Collections

Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society, 2017: Special Edition ‘Humans and Other Animals’ (2020).

Peer- reviewed book chapters

‘The Application and Uses of Ethics in Early Childhood Education and Care’, in Early Childhood Education and Care: An Introduction for Students in Ireland, ed. by Maire Mhic Mhathuna and Dr Mark Taylor (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 2012) pp. 303-312

Peer- reviewed articles

‘The Validity of Narcissistic Re-appropriation: A Critique of Levinas’ Eros’, The Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society, (2001), pp. 67-75

‘What Can Husserl Say about Love?’, The Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society, (2002), pp. 64-71

‘Brentano and Husserl on the Phenomenon of Love’, Maynooth Philosophical Papers, 2 (2004), pp. 98-107.

‘Love and Poesis: The Ambivalent Creation of a Haunted Truth’, The International Journal of Political Anthropology,(2015).

Further Research Outputs

Conference/Seminar Papers

2000      Irish Philosophical Society Autumn conference, NUIM.

Myth as Paradigm in Plato’s Philosophy of Love

2000      Irish Philosophical Society Spring conference, NUIM.

The Validity of Narcissistic Reappropriation: A Critique of Levinas’ Eros

2001      Irish Philosophical Society Postgraduate Colloquium.

Time, Memory and Love in Proust

2002      Irish Philosophical Society Autumn conference, UCD.

What Can Husserl Say about Love?

2006      Staff/Postgraduate Colloquium, Carlow College.

A Phenomenological Critique of Carl Rogers’ concept of Empathy.

2006      Visiting Speaker Series, Department of Philosophy, NUIM.

Does Carl Rogers Need a Theory of Empathy?

2009      Visiting Speaker Series, Department of Philosophy, NUIG.

In What Sense can you have a Phenomenology of Love? An investigation of Marion’s Erotic   Phenomenon

2010     Irish Philosophical Society, Futures of Phenomenology Conference, NUIG.

In What Sense can you have a Phenomenology of Love? An investigation of Marion’s Erotic Phenomenon

2010     May Day SIPTU Labour History Conference

‘Not Organisable! The Autonomous Worker and the Farm Labourer’s Strike 1922/23

2011      Invited Speaker Series, Department of Philosophy, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.

An Outline of an Hauntology of Love

2013      Social Care Ireland Conference: Change, Challenge, Opportunity

‘Against’ Ethics in Social Care Theory and Practice

2013      Sixth International Political Anthropology Workshop in Ireland

Love and Poesis: The Ambivalent creation of a Haunted Truth

2014      WIT Sociology Dept. Visiting lecture series

Plato’s Aristophanes, Plato’s Ghost: A Short History of Love

2014      Irish Phenomenological Circle Symposium: Nietzsche and Nihilism

Nietzsche on ‘Truth Telling and lying in a Non-Moral Sense’

Conference organisation

2017: Irish Philosophical Society Annual Conference, ‘Humans and Other Animals’

Other published works

‘Thoughts on the Origin of the Humanities’, The Carlovian (2008).

‘Post Modern Mods’, Sussed: A Guide to Modernism (2013).

Newspaper and other articles

2015: ‘Unthinkable’ Column on The Philosophy of Love in the Irish Times

Do I Lie when I say I love you? Online article in collaboration with Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) https://imma.ie/magazine/do-i-lie-when-i-say-i-love-you/

Media Interactions

2006: Utopias: A Public Discussion. A round table public discussion with Dermot Ferriter (broadcaster and historian) and Sean Hardie (writer and director) in Association with Carlow University MFA and Eigse 06’ Carlow Arts Festival.

2011: Radio Interview on the Philosophy of the Car.https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/gerrycounihanradio/episodes/2011-07-02T03_40_51-07_00

2011: Radio interview on the philosophy of leisure and leisure space.https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/gerrycounihanradio/episodes/2011-07-01T14_21_03-07_00

2014: Radio Interview on Ethics in Business on KCLR’s ‘ The Bottom Line’

2014 Radio Documentary ‘Let’s Talk About Death’ https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/gerrycounihanradio/episodes/2014-07-10T06_45_34-07_00

2015: Radio Documentary ‘Philosophy in the Classroom’. https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/gerrycounihanradio/episodes/2015-05-01T05_03_27-07_00

2019: Radio interview on Benefits of P4C on KCLR https://carlowcollege.ie/news/dr-noel-kavanagh-talks-about-the-benefits-of-p4c-on-kclr/

2019: ‘As We Like it’ radio documentary on love KCLR https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/documentaries-on/as-we-like-it-episode-3-lover-rdvhkoXnpVQ/

Research-related outreach/public events

2019: Lecture on the Philosophy of Love in VISUAL Carlow.

Awards & Funding

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